Jeff Weaver, a veteran senior adviser to Sanders who will help lead the group, said all of Sanders’s success elevating progressive issues in the national conversation won’t mean anything “if we don’t elect the candidates we have pushed, and continue to push, to be more progressive.”
“Electing Joe Biden as president of the United States will allow some of those gains to be institutionalized so that our movement can focus on pushing the debate even further in [the] years to come,” Weaver said in a statement.
The creation of this new group comes as Sanders’s supporters are splintered over whether to support the more centrist Biden, just as they were in 2016 over Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, although the latter rift was far more acrimonious.
After winning the early 2020 primary contests, Sanders dropped out of the race for president this month, making Biden, a former vice president, the presumptive Democratic nominee. Less than a week later, Sanders endorsed Biden and promised to work to bring along his voters.
The shared motivation of the two ideological factions of the Democratic Party is to beat President Trump. The former aides to Sanders say they’ll use the organizing and messaging expertise gleaned from running the senator’s two presidential campaigns to turn out the type of voters for Biden who might otherwise stay home.
The new political organization operates independently from the senator and from the Biden campaign. Sanders has long railed against the existence of super PACs, which can raise and spend unlimited sums in political campaigns.